The Calgary Flames need to take advantage of Colorado’s goaltending situation and trade Dan Vladar
Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
2 months ago
The Colorado Avalanche have their starter in Alexander Georgiev, but their backup situation is one that needs improving after Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported last week that Pavel Francouz may miss time while recovering from off-season abductor surgery. The likelihood of Francouz being ready for training camp is low, which means that team management is scouring the market for potential backup options.
One option that has been rumoured (and makes plenty of sense) is the Calgary Flames’ backup goalie, Dan Vladar.
Vladar is coming off a below-average year in the Flames crease, but that was par for the course, given what his counterpart, Jacob Markstrom, was also doing behind the Calgary forwards and defencemen. It wasn’t a great year for either goaltender. As far as the numbers go, Vladar won plenty more games than he lost, finishing with a 14-6-5 record. But his individual numbers were not great, with a 2.87 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage. As a 24-year-old in 2021-22, he had a slightly better goals-against average, but the biggest difference was his save percentage, which was a few points over .900.
Vladar is still a young goaltender with a future somewhere in the NHL. He’s a perfectly acceptable backup option, but most of last year was not a good representation of that. It’s not completely out of the ordinary for that to happen either, given his age, but at this point, it’s about bouncing back. He’s going to need to as well, considering who is waiting in the wings after an incredible season with the Calgary Wranglers in the AHL: Dustin Wolf.
The topic of Wolf’s downright unthinkable season in the AHL has been talked about ad nauseam around the Calgary media market, but it’s a good representation of just how impressive it was. At just 22 years of age, he brought in almost every major award, including the AHL’s MVP award, and in his one game against the San Jose Sharks at the end of last season–his NHL debut–he was as impressive and energetic as one might expect.
We weren’t sure what the plan was for the Flames in net this season. It sounded as if the plan was to approach the season with three goaltenders available, giving Vladar and Wolf the opportunity to not only fight for the backup spot but also to get some NHL time to help their development as individuals as well. However, if they move Vladar, it would give Wolf the chance to back Markstrom up full-time, which might be best for his development.
Vladar behind a team like the Avalanche could certainly return to the form he once held or maybe be even better. It would benefit both teams, and likely both players in Wolf and Vladar, to move away from the three-goalie plan. The Flames could get some draft capital to add to their closet in the process. It feels like the best plan of attack to make Vladar available for trade, and the Flames should do it as soon as they can.
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